12312009 MG 3079 8 tonemapped

© Brad Mangas

Walking along a snowy trail I came upon a grouping of sumac with their winter seed heads in full display. Most were standing over 5 feet tall like solders in the snow.

Sumac produces wonderful fall colors in their folage and are always a subject on the lookout for in the fall of the year. But their glory doesn’t stop there. Throughout the winter when leaves have gone they maintain these wonderful heads that seem so fitting for winter.

After some wider views I got up close and began to look for individuals to produce more intimate shots of. This was taken with my dslr, so I was able to control the dof better. Shot at f/4 I was unaware at the time of the striking blurred background the stems of the distant plants would make.  I almost like the background better than the actual sumac head I focused on.

It’s always a good idea to shot such scenes from a variety of camera settings, dof and focal lengths. It can effect the background tremendously when subtle changes are made. Making the background part of the image is as important as your main subject. It can truly make or break the image. Now that I’ve discovered this new area of sumac it will have to get regular visits I’m sure.

Take a path less traveled, and discover the beauty just around the corner.

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